A man asked his friend, “What do you get when you cross a librarian and a lawyer?” Answer: “All the information you want, except you cannot understand it” (my apology to lawyers!). Some things very quickly get beyond the ability of our finite, three-pound brains (marvelous as they are) to fully grasp and comprehend. Topping the list are God and eternity. Think about this. If you had a solid steel ball the size of this earth (25,000 miles in circumference) and every one million years a little sparrow would be released to land on that steel ball to sharpen his beak and then fly away only to come back another million years later and sharpen his beak again, by the time she would have worn that ball down to the size of a BB, eternity would have just begun! Even this illustration fails, because eternity is “eternal” – no beginning, no end, no wearing it down or out – ever. You cannot think of a time when it did not exist, nor can you think of a time when it will cease to exist. The reason we have trouble trying to envision eternity is simple – our time on earth is finite and here on earth everything we see, witness, and experience has a beginning and an end. But not eternity! The first four words in the Bible in Genesis 1:1 are very simple to read – “In the beginning God.” If scientists, using powerful radio telescopes, ever could look back all those supposed billions of light years ago as they seek to see “the beginning” – that is, the origin of the universe and earth and life on it, they still would not see God, because God was already there long before the beginning! How long before? The Bible answers: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable” (Isaiah 40:28). Some 700 years before Isaiah wrote those words, the psalmist (many believe Moses) declared, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.”
Philip Yancey illustrated eternity by suggesting that you go to a blackboard and draw a line 10 feet long. Then make a tiny dot on that line. That dot, to a microscopic germ cell in its midst, would seem enormous. But a human, viewing the entire blackboard, would be struck by the hugeness of that ten foot line compared to the tiny dot the germ cell calls home. The illustration is imperfect, but we can imagine eternity in a similar way. Seventy to 80 years (Psalm 90:10) is a long time to live. But compared to eternity, it is a mere dot. How wondrous, then, to learn from Romans 8:29-30 that God desires His children to be with Him in eternal glory, and has a predetermined plan to make that possible – “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” It all has to do with the gospel, for God calls us through the gospel “for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:14). “God calls us to His eternal glory” (1 Peter 5:10). Have you answered God’s call? Think about it.
By: Dan Gulley, Smithville, TN